Not all that surprisingly, the ‘Crunchy Bits‘ are the simple part. Fleshing them out and providing more detail takes longer but I think provides more grist for application in play.
The initial work on the pantheon took about an hour. The initial detail of each god takes me about an hour more, not counting finding heralds and allies. I feel heralds should be unique, and going through the monster books (four bestiaries, Tome of Horrors, Green Ronin’s Advanced Bestiary because the templates can make otherwise non-outsiders appropriate choices) is very time-consuming. I’ll look into finding — or building — a better tool for narrowing my search. For now I’ll leave those fields blank.
In the meantime, I’ll try to post a god each day this week. The jhesiri follow (propitiate) the six gods of destruction in the goblin pantheon. Ramdzasha is the primary goddess of destruction and head of the jhesiri gods, and the other gods of the jhesiri are seen as her aspects. All jhesiri priests are ultimately priests of Ramdzasha, but almost all through the aspects rather than the goddess herself.
The Five-Headed, Feeds on Devastation
Alignment chaotic evil
Portfolios Armageddon, random warfare, delight in senseless destruction, hatred, rage.
Domains Destruction (Catastrophe, Rage), Strength, Water, Glory, Travel, Sun
Favored Weapon Land-Breaker (dire flail), Undying Heart (ring)
Artifacts Special items associated with the deity.
Herald None known; uses heralds of her aspects as needed.
Greater Ally None known; uses greater allies of her aspects as needed.
Ally None known; uses allies of her aspects as needed.
Lesser Ally None known; uses lesser allies of her aspects as needed.
Alternate Channeling Choose at the time of channeling:
- Unattended objects take full channel damage (not half) [Destruction variant channeling, ‘harm’ option]
- Affected creatures gain a channel bonus on Strength-based attacks, combat maneuver checks, Strength-based skills, and Strength checks until the end of your next turn [Strength variant channeling, ‘heal’ option]
- Creatures are dazzled for 1 minute; creatures with light blindness or light sensitivity are blinded instead of dazzled [Sun variant channeling, ‘harm’ option]
Appearance Hideous, multi-faced and multi-limbed monstrosity; faces and limbs change over time as she regenerates aspects after sending them to torment the world.
Symbol Ring of five mutilated faces (or heads, if available)
Manifestations Things breaking unexpectedly, random senseless accidental injury or violent death.
Legends Sundering the Day Star (the first eclipse), Piercing the Undying Heart (how a god’s heart was torn out and made an artifact ring)
Enemy Everyone sensible.
Mixed Other goblin gods (thwart when possible, propitiate when not).
Worshippers jhesiri, madmen, barbarians. Not organized enough to have honorifics or formal titles, individuals may be powerful enough to compel the use of whatever titles they want.
Temples Any temple to another god will serve, once desecrated, at least until the stench of burned and rotting flesh subsides.
Shrines Five hacked at and burned heads arranged in a circle facing outward (focus of the shrine), matching bodies impaled around it. Only five needed, one for each aspect, but more are not uncommon. Shrine is empowered until the dead are laid to rest.
Altars As shrine focus.
Holy Sites Sites of destruction (lightning-blasted trees, blackened remains after a forest fire, former settlement after flooding, or better a tsunami).
Priests All priests of Ramdzasha’s aspects are considered priests of Ramdzasha.
Priest Appearance Typically scarred, maimed, or mutilated by their rites or the consequences of their actions. Often carry (poorly-)preserved remnants of their enemies (and themselves)
Priest Training “Self-taught”: hatred gnaws at the heart of the potential priest until there is room for one of Ramdzasha’s aspects to force its way in.
Dogma Desecrate the temples of all gods, as they will fall before me. Slay all and lay their heads before me. Wander the world and devastate all you find, spoiling for others’ use.
Rituals Always blood and death and dismemberment. The dead are defiled, the living are maimed.
Prayers “Take this one in my place, so I can destroy for you here!” (sounds more impressive in goblin)
Ramdzasha originally worked out to be neutral (no alignment domains). After I had decided to make the other deities aspects of Ramdzasha I decided that she should be the sum of her parts. This led to my assigning a chaotic evil alignment and the rest started to fall into place.
As might be expected of the jhesiri gods, they are not builders but destroyers. They do not build temples or other holy sites, instead co-opting the ruined and destroyed holy places of others. These places are only usable for a time, usually the time it takes for destruction and decay to complete, before new places must be ‘made’.
As aspects of Ramdzasha, all the jhesiri gods can use holy places of Ramdzasha in addition to those more suitable to the aspects, and vice-versa.
Ramdzasha’s aspects are:
- Hadang Samptar, Razing Hunter, Wandering Ravager (CE; Travel, Destruction, Evil, Fire, Chaos; rampage, senseless destruction, pillage and razing).
- Arak-Zoth, The Burning Eye (TN; Sun, Destruction, Madness, Air, Trickery).
- Ravena, Devourer of the Fen (TN; Water, Destruction, Plant, Air, Earth).
- Natlot, Singer of Battle, Lethal Dancer (TN; Glory, Destruction, Fire, Madness, Death).
- Yakhar, Wild Avenger, Nature’s Wrath (NE; Strength, Destruction, Evil, Plant, Animal).
These are still works in progress, but I’ve almost got Hadang Samptar ready for posting.